By Beau Smith

In the last few weeks I’ve been hit with requests for some more Busted Knuckles Manly Recommendations. I’ve got to admit, I’ve been a little behind in telling you, the reader, just how to spend your money. I’ll make up for that right now.

FX Trade Paperback
Story and script by Wayne Osborne
Pencils and inks by John Byrne
IDW Publishing

I hope at this stage in comics I don’t have to remind you that John Byrne is one of the best comic book super hero artists to ever have his pencil make love to Bristol board. When you think of who pulled Marvel Comics and the X-Men up by the armpits and into the modern age of comics, then John Byrne’s name is right there, shoulder to shoulder with Dave Cockrum, Chris Claremont, Len Wein, Terry Austin and Bob McLeod.

How would you like to revisit that same energy that Byrne brought to the X-Men when they needed it most? No, I don’t mean buy back issues or trade paperback of old X-Men stories. I’m talking about a new ground zero. It’s called FX .

FX was created as a six issue series by Wayne Osborne. A newcomer, a comic book rookie. After you read the FX trade paperback you won’t use the words newcomer and rookie with the name of Wayne Osborne anymore. Wayne steps into this very fun, fast paced super hero epic like he has been doing it for as many years as John Byrne has been drawing. I have to admit, when I started reading this book I was ready for it to be great Byrne art with stilted dialogue and a thin layer of character. Well, I was wrong. The partnership of Osborne and Byrne comes together like a high priced zipper.

FX is a young super-hero that is used to pretending to be a super-hero. All that pretends turns to reality when he wakes up and discovers it’s put up or shut up. The kid has powers?other super heroes….bad guys…a talking Silverback Ape and more trouble than you can hope to avoid. FX is an all ages book that truly is what it says it is. It’s perfect for young, old or any age. It’s solid as a brick and weighs about as much because IDW Publishing formatted and printed it on nothing but the best paper. The pages are filled with wonderful to look at art and characters that make you like them with the first words that come out of their mouths. FX would make a great gift for Christmas for you or someone you like a lot.

Nick Cardy: Behind the Art
Written by Eric Nolen-Weathington
Art by Nick Cardy (of course)
TwoMorrows Publishing
Full Color

Mr. Nick Cardy is one of my personal all time favorite manly comic book artists of all time. He’s a man’s man and draws like one. Along with Jim Aparo, he is the best Aquaman artists ever to step into the deep end. This beautiful hardcover book is filled with well known, never seen before and unpublished art by Mr. Cardy. Eric Nolen-Weathington takes us into the mind of Nick Cardy and gives us some wonderful behind the scenes stories in Cardy’s own words. I fancy myself a pretty in-the-know guy when it comes to Nick Cardy’s work, but there are tons of stuff in this book that I had never seen before. I loved reading Cardy telling how and why he did some of his most famous work. All the stories behind the covers are just flat out great. I was stoked to see that one of Cardy’s personal favorite covers was also one of mine?Aquaman #37. To this day it’s one of the most compelling covers in super hero comic book history. You’ll love seeing all his sketches and layouts as well. A real art lesson for any artist. Another highlight is seeing many of Cardy’s paintings. Those you don’t see everyday. Once again, TwoMorrows Publishing has tied a bow around a package and made it Christmas.

Flash Gordon #1, #2 and #3.
Written by Brendan Deneen
Art by Paul Green
Ardden Entertainment

I mentioned Flash Gordon from Ardeen Entertainment last week in Busted Knuckles. Since then I’ve re-read the issues and I’m even more pumped up. Writer, Brendan Deneen and artist, Paul Green bring you a truly modern day version of the iconic Flash Gordon character. It pays all tribute and respect to the Flash Gordon by Alex Raymond that has come before and takes it to a new level that will please old and new readers of Flash Gordon.

All the great characters are here. Flash, Dale Arden, Dr. Zarkov and Ming! All updated and done right. The dialogue is smart, non-cliché and gets you into the characters right off the bat. Deneen moves the story like a film and doesn’t leave you weighted down by a lot of needless blocks of text or endless yapping. Artist Paul Green makes this work seamlessly with his beautifully constructed film/animated like style. It’s slick and fluid and enhanced by the nice colors and perfectly picked paper. Green’s work will remind you a bit of J. Scott Campbell, but with his own personal style. I highly suggest you pick this series up and support it. As we all know, in most cases if it’s not a Marvel or DC Comic book, some retailers won’t risk ordering an indy book. Make your local store get it for you. I think you will truly enjoy Flash Gordon. I am!

Meet the Laugh-Out Loud Cats
By Adam Koford

A wonderful little book filled with the online strips of a pair of hobo cats who have the best one liners and quirky outlook on stuff that you will not find anywhere else. Odd and entertaining with a true flair of original newspaper strips that inspired so many.

Bad Planet #6
Written by Thomas Jane and Steve Niles
Art by James Daley III and Tim Bradstreet
Cover by Dave Stevens
Image Comics.

Bad Planet has been a very cool series that harkens back to true sc-fi work of the 1950’s as well as all the great EC Comics and Warren Magazines. It’s horrific and creepy with taste. None of it is “go for the easy shock”. It’s well thought out and written with passion. There are lots of Layers to unfold here. I only wish it came out more often. Please make sure you check out the beautiful Dave Stevens cover on this issue. It will remind you just how much we miss him and his talent.

Captain America: Theater of War #1
Written By Charles and Daniel Knauf
Art by Mitch Breitweiser
Marvel Comics

As you may already know, I am a lifetime reader of Captain America. Yes, I have my favorite era of Cap adventures, but I pride myself in always being open to try any version that Marvel throws out there. Sometimes it’s great and other times it’s not. With the Captain America: Theater of War #1 one-shot, you get your $3.99 cover price and more. It’s a great action story by Daniel and Charles Knauf with break-neck, full throttle art by Mitch Breitweiser. It looks like a movie and reads like a comic book. That’s a great combo. My favorite scene is where Cap backhands a Nazi off a flying saucer. It don’t get much more fun than that. If you are or ever were a fan of Captain America, then this is a must buy for you.

Collected Jack Kirby Collector Volume 6
Written By John Morrow
TwoMorrows Publishing

This collects issues #23 through #26 of the Jack Kirby Collector. This is a true comic book history book loaded with a mass of Jack Kirby art that will inspire everyone. It also includes an unpublished Kirby story and so much more. A wonderful Christmas gift.

Showcase Presents Blackhawk Volume 1
DC Comics
Various artists and writers
Over 500 pages

If ever there was a manly comic book, this is it. This is a ton of testosterone.

Batman And The Outsiders Book 1: The Chrysalis
Written By Chuck Dixon
Art by Julian Lopez, Carlos Rodriguez and Bit
DC Comics

This collects Batman And The Outsiders #1 through #5. The most underrated series at DC Comics. Chuck Dixon takes everyone to school on how to write really entertaining super heroes and Batman. Why isn’t Chuck writing more DC and Marvel Comics. Dixon on The Fantastic Four would be brilliant.

DC Goes Ape Book 1
Various artists and writer
166 Pages
DC Comics

Wonderful crazy stuff. Some of the best DC super hero stories involving apes ever. Wonder Woman, Batman, Captain Marvel, Hawkman and even the Super Friends. I hope that DC remembers to reprint my Guy Gardner Warrior #40 in the next volume. I had Guy and his gang fighting Gorilla Grodd and his flying cyborg apes. Come on?that’s classic. (And a royalty check for me!)

Busted Knuckles Manly Cover of the Week: The Invaders in Marvel Universe #1
Cover Art by Carlos Pachelo
June 1998
Marvel Comics

America’s greatest WWII super hero team busting up Nazis. Oh, how I long for these kinds of story lines.

Busted Knuckles Babe of the Week: Beyonce Knowles

Aww, come on. Do I really need to explain this choice?

The Roundup
This week I thought I would do a “Twitter” like roundup section:

  • It was a bitter cold five mile walk for me this morning. I manned up and didn’t complain?(Too much)
  • I will trade five signed comics that I have written to anyone that records Corner Gas episodes for me on a DVD.
  • My new book from IDW Publishing— Lost & Found —has been selling out in stores.
  • Artist Enrique Villagran just turned in the cover to my Wynonna Earp: The Yeti Wars #3. It’s a killer!
  • I eat two pieces of whole wheat toast for breakfast every morning…with peanut butter.
  • Pepsi One is my soft drink of choice.
  • I really like the Fox TV show Fringe.
  • iPhone apps are my new addiction.
  • My birthday is one month away. December 17th. Get shopping!
  • I’ve been watching the 1966 Marvel Super Hero cartoons on VHS.
  • I want to write B’Wana Beast for DC Comics.
  • I want to write M.A.R.S. Patrol: Total War. (The old Gold Key Comics Series)
  • I want Sam Elliott and Tom Selleck to make a new western.

Okay, I’m Twittered out. I hope to see you guys next week.

Your amigo,

Beau Smith
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507

Prove your manhood by visiting Beau at the Flying Fists Forum!

About The Author


Beau Smith is a writer for Comics Bulletin